Internal Deadline: TBA
LOI: 30 days prior.
External Deadline: October 22, 2024
Recurring Deadlines: October 21, 2025; October 26, 2027
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: Up to 18
Anticipated Award Amount: $1.8 million total costs
Who May Serve as PI: Standard NIH requirements.
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII) Application Portal: https://rii.usc.edu/oor-portal/. Use the template provided here: RII Limited Submission Applicant Template
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Two-Page Proposal Summary (1” margins; single-spaced; standard font type, e.g. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 2-page limit will be excluded from review. You must use the template linked above.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 mandates that NIOSH provide an adequate supply of qualified personnel to carry out the purposes of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. NIOSH ERCs have a key role in meeting this mandate and contribute to the Institute’s core mission of preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. In 1977, NIOSH supported 9 ERCs in 9 states and 5 Health and Human Services (HHS) Federal Regions. Presently, NIOSH supports 18 ERCs across all 10 HHS Regions. Over 20,000 individuals graduated from ERCs in the core and allied disciplines in occupational health and safety from 1977 – 2020. As capacity in occupational safety and health practice and research has increased, the number and rates of work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities have decreased (BLS, 2021).
The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the vital role occupational health and safety has in the United States and beyond. From occupational exposures that led to illness and death to the mental and economic stressors the pandemic placed across individuals, workplaces and communities, ERCs responded rapidly to the needs of their students, staff and faculty and regional stakeholders by providing broad-based approaches to protection from the virus. This included guidance on proper use and decontamination of personal protective equipment, respirator fit testing, social distancing for worksites, and the use of physical protective barriers. Many ERCs developed communication products, resource guides, online courses, and webinars on safe work practices during the pandemic.
As our nation and the world continues to recover from the pandemic, ERCs will continue to train safety and health practitioners and researchers with the knowledge and skills to respond to natural, man-made, environmental, and public health disasters. Historically, ERCs have provided expertise in worker health and safety following events such as hurricanes (Katrina, Maria, and Harvey), the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, illicit drug exposures to law enforcement and emergency medical services, and Ebola and influenza outbreaks. ERC’s responses have included outreach activities and research training opportunities that highlighted the expertise of ERC’s faculty, staff, and trainees.
Public Health Impact
Work-related illnesses continue to have a significant public health impact, and part of NIOSH’s mission is to train the next generation of occupational safety and health (OSH) practitioners and researchers. The National Assessment of the Occupational Safety and Health Workforce documents a significant shortfall in the supply of trained OSH professionals to meet demand in the United States. The report provided evidence of the continued need to support OSH training and education in the core and allied disciplines.
Recent work by Felknor, et al (2020) speaks to the ‘rapid and profound changes in the future of work that will have significant implication for the education and training of OSH professionals and the workforce’. NIOSH’s network of ERCs is critical in developing OSH professionals prepared to respond to the changing nature of work. These changes are the result of technological advances, globalization, new and emerging risks, occupational health disparities associated with the changing demographics of the US workforce, climate change and other factors. The ERCs provide well-trained graduates and professionals for federal, state, and local government agencies; not-for-profit agencies; industry; academia; business; healthcare; and labor organizations. ERCs strive to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the safety and health workforce through training, research training, continuing education, and outreach.
ERC key personnel and trainees collaborate with stakeholders to develop innovative approaches to improving workplace safety and health, by the translation of research to practice (r2p) and prevention through design (PtD). NIOSH ERCs translate scientific discoveries into practice through effective training, research, continuing education, and outreach. To learn more about the breadth and depth of NIOSH ERCs, visit NIOSH’s website.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.